Why does breakfast have such a bum rap? We know it’s the most important meal of the day, but nearly one-third of children don’t eat breakfast before school, and half of adults skip breakfast. Maybe breakfast has a stodgy reputation, or it seems like too much work at the busiest time of the day, or healthful breakfast foods just seem to lack excitement. If so, how can we put pizazz into healthy breakfast choices?
Every engine needs fuel to operate at peak efficiency, and our bodies and minds are the most important engines to maintain. Let’s think of fruits and vegetables that can kick-start our day. Every breakfast doesn’t have to be a sit-down feast. That may work for the weekends, but getting everyone off to work and school calls for meals that are easy and fast.
For good health, we should fill half our plates with fruits and vegetables — starting with breakfast and continuing throughout the day. Your local supermarkets, convenience stores and restaurants are making it easier than ever to find convenient, nutritious, tasty fruits and vegetables.
To help you on your way to a better breakfast, here are three tips for navigating the most important meal.
1. Grab food on the go
When you don’t have time to prepare a traditional breakfast there are many ways to eat healthy while staying on the move. Pick up a banana — it comes in its own packaging, tastes great and is perfectly portable. You can add fruits to yogurt for a morning parfait that tastes like dessert or blend a fruit or veggie smoothie to sip on the way to school or work. And breakfast sandwiches answer the need for convenience with the appeal of a fast food snack. Make them at home, load them with veggies and mash avocado into a topping with whatever added herbs or spices (even jalapenos) you might like.
2. Take your time
When you do have time to sit down and make a more traditional breakfast make sure to use fruits and don’t forget the veggies. Cut fruits into fun shapes to decorate whole-grain toast or pancakes, or put pureed whole fruits into squeeze bottles for a fun, tasty, nutritious spread or syrup alternative. Consider sautéing some favorite vegetables to include them in your omelets, scrambled eggs, frittatas and more.
3. Find breakfast alternatives
And for those who simply won’t eat “breakfast,” think about how “morning snacks” can fit into your diet. That mid-morning pick-me-up can be smoothies, parfaits and more. Fruits and vegetables make great snacks any time of day, but be sure you’re getting a good jump on the day by eating them in the morning, too.
Cathy Burns, CEO, Produce Marketing Association, [email protected]